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AGMballoons

BLUE BRANDING: Members of the Prostate Cancer Foundation with balloons used by a marketing company to explain the new Blue September fundraiser.

AUGUST 1: PROSTABLOG NZ: A new executive committee to run the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ (PCF) was elected by 50 PCF members at their annual meeting in Napier.

Long-time president Barry Young, Thames, was re-elected for his sixth term, after a secret ballot when he was challenged by Hamilton member Peter Forman.

Young’s wife, Carolyn Young (pictured with Barry), stepped down as long-serving Foundation secretary and was replaced unopposed by Ian Hedley of Orewa.

Dinner Barry & CarolynTwo vice-presidents were elected – Dunedin’s Keith Beck, who also runs the PCF website, and long-serving Foundation treasurer Trevor Green, Auckland.

The new executive committee elected by secret ballot from 13 candidates will comprise Dene Ainsworth (Porirua), Ian Chapman (Nelson), Mark von Dadelszen (Havelock North), Nicholas Jack (Auckland) and Prostablog author Jim Tucker (Wellington).

After a surplus of $1.83 million in the financial year to March 31, 2008, the Foundation lost $136,688 in the last financial year.

The main reason was a severing of ties with the Australian-owned Movember fund-raising campaign, which gave last November’s takings to the Cancer Society and others rather than PCF. The 2007 Movember had helped PCF boost its income by more than $2 million.

No money came from fund-raising last year, although the Foundation made $424,672 from donations and memberships ($268,934), interest on investments ($148,255) and other sources.

Despite the loss of Movember (which criticised the PCF for not appearing to use the money it handed over), the Foundation is still in a strong financial position, with total equity of more than $2.5 million (compared with about $3 million the year before). It has most of its money conservatively invested with the ASB Bank.

AGMtoptableSome at the annual meeting were critical of the lack of detail in the balance sheet, but treasurer Trevor Green said the auditors passed the accounts and they were presented to the meeting in the form prepared by the organisation’s accountants.

President Barry gave an assurance than more detailed accounts would be made available as soon as possible. This had not happened in time for the annual meeting.

The auditors, WHK Gosling Chapman, who completed their audit two days before the annual meeting on July 25, made the following comments about the accounts:

Control over revenues from donations and membership income prior to being recorded is limited and there are no practical audit procedures to determine the effect of this limited control.

In this respect alone we have not obtained all the information and explanations that we have required.

In our opinion, except for the adjustments that might have been found to be necessary had we been able to obtain sufficient evidence concerning donations and membership income

  • proper accounting records have been kept by the foundation as far as appears from our examination of those records; and
  • the financial statements on pages 3 to 8 comply with generally accepted accounting practice; give a true and fair view of the financial position of the foundation as at 31 March, 2009 and the results of its operations for the year ended on that date.

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No budget for the coming year was presented to the meeting.

Barry Young said in his annual report the PCF had had a “most interesting” year, but had emerged as a “more mature organisation better equipped to meet its future obligations”.

It had been affected by the recession, but conservative policies meant it was protected from losses on investments.

“Lower bank interest rates have been the cause of main concern and with commitments to projects (including research) reserves have been reduced.

“Care needs to be taken to maintain reserves at a level where they provide adequate return to enable the Foundation to fulfill the role now expected of it.”

The Foundation continued its financial support of a project seeking markers of biological behaviour in prostate cancer tumours, having given $153,000 over two years.

“Other applications for funding have been postponed until the financial situation clarifies,” he told the meeting.

The PCF funded a project in Palmerston North involving health checks for 100 men and the results of analysis were received two days before the meeting, not leaving enough time for him to absorb and relay them.

In answer to a question from the floor, he said the Foundation would be making submissions to the upcoming inquiry into prostate cancer screening by Parliament’s Health Select Committee. These were being prepared by the organisation’s medical committee in time for the submission deadline of August 21.

The PCF has embarked on a replacement fund-raising campaign called Blue September, which was outlined to the meeting by the NZ representatives of an Australian marketing company called MWC Media.

The representatives showed charts indicating that sponsors lined up for the campaign this year would donate about $150,000.

One, Watties, has agreed to produce a line of baked beans in cans coloured the foundation’s new blue.

Other ideas came forward from the floor of the meeting, including Lin Tucker’s suggestion the foundation should persuade a prophylactic company to make blue condoms.

The Blue September re-branding has so far cost the PCF $168,000.

The PCF has 329 paid-up members and active local branch organisations in Whangarei, North Harbour, South Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Mana, Otaki, Wellington, Nelson, Canterbury, Dunedin and Southland. An organiser has been found to set up branches in Auckland.

Early in the meeting, members saw brief extracts from the first two DVDs of a series on prostate cancer being made by veteran TV producer Robert Boyd-Bell. Featuring top urologists, the videos are being progressively posted on the Foundation’s website.

The meeting was followed by a dinner:

DinnerDene&Ans

ABOVE: Executive Committee member Dene Ainsworth (left) in serious discussion with immediate past Vice-President Ans Parder, Christchurch.

Dinner Ian Chapman

ABOVE: Ian Chapman, Nelson, who was re-elected to the executive committee.

Dinner Ian Morrieson

ABOVE: Doreen and Ian Morrison, who run the foundation’s branch in Mana north of Wellington.

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ABOVE: Prostablog blogger Jim Tucker (bald, at left) in conversation with Jan Ainsworth.

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